The Toronto Gesneriad Society Show is this Saturday and I’ll be entering a few pictures this year. Next year I hope to have some plants good enough to go but with pictures you can show only the best parts of your plants the way you want them to be seen and so even without any show quality plants I’ve got some entries.
There were no restrictions on size of prints or anything like that but they must be mounted on backing. Framed would technically count but I’m sticking with the cleaner look of picture on the mat board. I don’t usually print any of my pictures, I see them on the computer and that’s that. Being able to chose exactly what colour to frame your picture you think will work best can make a huge difference in the overall look of your prints. Very often I tweak a picture just how I want it on the grey background of Photoshop, only to be disappointed seeing it looking dull and underexposed on a stark white background like on Flickr. I ended up a little rushed getting my entries together because of computer problems but everything’s now ready to go.
I won’t be entering all of these (probably) because I only said ahead of time I’d be bringing two, but if there aren’t enough pictures entered I might put in more. I’ve got six total printed and mounted and ready to go. Here they are on the background colours I went with (some detail and colours got messed up moving these from file to file and resizing etc but you get the idea).
I was shooting using natural light and got this interesting picture with the light shining through the flowers. I’m not likely to enter this one but it’s a personal favourite of mine. I thought that putting this picture on a black background would highlight the difference in colour between the background and the mat, and the edge of the picture where the stem leaves the frame might look off. Once I got it mounted I was also happy with the way the highlights in the flower pop with the white border as well.
I liked the detail in the flower but found the background dull and really drew the eye away from the flower. Unfortunately, if you were to look at this picture in greyscale the flower and background are almost identical in brightness, making it extremely difficult to create any contrast between them with digital re-touching. The black seems to make the background lighter and the colours more saturated basically saving the picture.
Episcia ‘Ember Lace’
I like it but I wish I could have taken the picture with more space at the top of the plant. It looks a little bit squeezed into the frame. Here I wanted the black background to add extra punch to the darker colour in the leaves.
Detail-wise it’s not the strongest and I doubt this will make it into the show either but I was pleasantly surprised when I mounted it on the white background. I felt that a darker background would blur the white and grey together, but I feel the white makes the flowers pop even more from the background. Also a recently shot picture. After I shot this I went after the flowers with a paintbrush and it looks like all three of these (4? maybe one more had opened by then) were successfully pollinated so maybe in a little bit I’ll have a couple hundred extra to play around with. (The colours got really out of wack somewhere along the lines, it looks better in person)
I’ll update after the show if I manage to win anything. There aren’t usually too many people entering this category but the ones who do enter some good pictures. And of course I’ll be posting a whole bunch of pictures from the show hopefully on Sunday.
And if you’re in the Toronto area why not come to the show? The show is this Saturday at the Toronto Botanical Gardens.